Friday, March 31, 2017

All are Helped by Nature

It is a weakness to think that anyone is dependent on me, and that I can do good to another. 
This belief is the mother of all our attachment, and through this attachment comes all our pain. 

We must inform our minds that no one in this universe depends upon us; not one beggar depends on our charity; 
not one soul on our kindness; not one living thing on our help. 

All are helped on by nature, and will be so helped even though millions of us were not here. The course of nature will not stop for such as you and me; it is, as already pointed out, only a blessed privilege to you and to me that we are allowed, in the way of helping others, to educate ourselves. 

                                   - Swami Vivekananda, 
                                   Karma-Yoga (Classes in New York) 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to Work

This world is like a dog's curly tail, and people have been striving to straighten it out for hundreds of years; but when they let it go, it has curled up again. 
How could it be otherwise? 
One must first know how to work without attachment, then one will not be a fanatic. 
When we know that this world is like a dog's curly tail and will never get straightened, we shall not become fanatics. …

…  When you have avoided fanaticism, then alone will you work well. 
It is the level-headed man, the calm man, of good judgment and cool nerves, of great sympathy and love, who does good work and so does good to himself. 
The fanatic is foolish and has no sympathy; he can never straighten the world, nor himself become pure and perfect. 

                        - Swami Vivekananda, 
                     Karma-Yoga (Classes in New York) 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Basis of Religion - Direct Experience

In every exact science there is a basis which is common to all humanity, so that we can at once see the truth or the fallacy of the conclusions drawn therefrom. 
Now, the question is: Has religion any such basis or not? I shall have to answer the question both in the affirmative and in the negative.

Religion, as it is generally taught all over the world, is said to be based upon faith and belief, and, in most cases, consists only of different sets of theories, 
and that is the reason why we find all religions quarrelling with one another. …

… Nevertheless, there is a basis of universal belief in religion, governing all the different theories and all the varying ideas of different sects in different countries. 
Going to their basis we find that they also are based upon universal experiences.
… ...

Thus it is clear that all the religions of the world have been built upon that one universal and adamantine foundation of all our knowledge – direct experience. 
The teachers all saw God; they all saw their own souls, they saw their future, they saw their eternity, and what they saw they preached. 
- Swami Vivekananda, 
  Raja-Yoga (Classes in New York)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Miracles as per Raja Yoga

Raja-Yoga does not, after the unpardonable manner of some modern scientists, deny the existence of facts which are difficult to explain; on the other hand, 
it gently yet in no uncertain terms tells the superstitious that miracles, and answers to prayers, and powers of faith, though true as facts, are not rendered comprehensible through the superstitious explanation of attributing them to the agency of a being, or beings, above the clouds. 

It declares that each man is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. 

It teaches that desires and wants are in man, that the power of supply is also in man; and that wherever and 
whenever a desire, a want, a prayer has been fulfilled, it was out of this infinite magazine that the supply came, 
and not from any supernatural being. 

                                      - Swami Vivekananda, 
                                       Raja-Yoga (Classes in New York) 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Karma Yoga Essence

First, we have to bear in mind that we are all debtors to the world and the world does not owe us anything. It is a great privilege for all of us to be allowed to do anything for the world. In helping the world we really help ourselves. 

The second point is that there is a God in this universe. It is not true that this universe is drifting and stands in need of help from you and me. God is ever present therein, He is undying and eternally active and infinitely watchful. …

Thirdly, we ought not to hate anyone. This world will always continue to be a mixture of good and evil. Our duty is to sympathise with the weak and to love even the wrongdoer. The world is a grand moral gymnasium wherein we have all to take exercise so as to become stronger and stronger spiritually. 

Fourthly, we ought not to be fanatics of any kind, because fanaticism is opposed to love. … the calmer we are and the less disturbed our nerves, the more shall we love and the better will our work be. 

                                   - Swami Vivekananda in Karma-Yoga
                                      (Classes in New York)